Glenn, Pat and Stu started the radio show on 3 different sides of an issue this morning - Over $465,000 had been donated to the harassed bus monitor, Karen Klein, as of 9am this morning (that number is probably over 600k now). While Stu thinks it’s just the way many American’s are showing that they care, Glenn doesn’t think it’s doing anything to solve the real problem – what’s going on in our culture.
“They've taken this awful moment, and I've got to be honest,” Stu said, “this has turned into the best thing that's ever happened to her, hasn't it?”
“It doesn't bother anybody else,” Glenn started, “but this really bothers me.”
Pat was bothered too. Not by the donations, however, he just wanted to know what Ms. Klein was going to do with the money. Dan Andros, one of Glenn’s writers in the New York office, had previously mentioned to the guys that he hoped she gives some of it to charity – Pat disagreed.
“Donates it? I'm giving it to you. I don't want you to turn around and give it to some cat society or something,” Pat said sarcastically.
Glenn took issue on an entirely different level. He doesn’t particularly care what she does with the money – it’s her money now, but what is this teaching the children that were so cruel to her? They’re being shown that their bad behavior is the best thing that ever happened to her in Glenn’s eyes.
Glenn wanted to know how many people are now saying, “I'd do that, I'll take that abuse.”
“Now we have officially made it into a game show,” Glenn said. “This was my monologue last night on television. These kids don't see her as a person. They see her as a YouTube video that they can get famous on. So they wanted to get famous. Well, now we've made it into a game show, and the prize money has gone to you! It's wrong. It's bad.”
Stu saw things a little differently. “Nobody's saying you can buy yourself out of the problems with American culture for $466,000, but you have changed this one person's life,” he said. “I mean, you've flipped this event for her from a really bad experience into something that obviously is changing her life.”
Pat was with Stu on this one. “What's wrong with that?” he asked.
Glenn compared the situation to what happened with the Trayvon Martin case where people took to the streets to show support. People ended up pointing fingers, the mainstream media redirected narratives. It was the wrong way to handle it.
“I mean, how many of us, as a culture, are soul searching, and how many of us now will just make this story, because it's a lot easier to deal with?” Glenn asked. “Look, all of this stuff happens for a reason. All of this stuff, they're warning signs. They're warning signs. And so we have a chance to humble ourselves and fix it and self-examine and say, "What is the culture that we're making? What is it that we're doing?" And I just fear that it's become a game show now.”
Glenn’s point was that we’re using money to mask the problem; no amount of money can solve the large scope of the problem. Stu’s point, however, is that people saw the video, felt terrible, and want the woman to be happy, which really just laid down more evidence for what Glenn was trying to say.
In the big picture, it’s not about the woman. This specific circumstance is – but the problem is with the culture that’s making America’s children believe that this is acceptable behavior. Glenn pointed to the parents of the children in this video who still hadn’t made their children apologize for their behavior. Instead of apologizing for their actions and feeling remorse for how they treated this woman, their parents are out giving press conferences on how their children “have been through enough”.
Anonymous released the information of these children on the internet – which Glenn vehemently disagreed with on air this morning. They should not have done that. But he did note that these children posted the video of their behavior on YouTube themselves.
“That's just not right. And that's not the way our society deals with it, either, but don't tell me that these kids have a problem being famous. That's why they posted it on YouTube,” Glenn said. “They wanted to be famous. And so now they're famous, they're infamous for a couple of days and now we're giving them the ability to say, "You know what? We really kind of helped her,” because that is exactly what they'll say.”
“These kids aren't going to feel bad years down the road,” Glenn added. “These kids are going to go, "We made her rich." It's a game show. Life is not a game show. Life is not a TV show. Life is not a reality show. Life is not a YouTube video. Life is life.”